Today marks the death anniversary of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who passed away last year as a result of a short illness.
The ANC’s national chair, Gwede Mantashe, tweeted footage elaborating on Madikizela-Mandela’s role in history. In the footage, Mantashe acknowledges that Madikizela-Mandela was outspoken and would often seek to rectify political issues.
“One of the very few who were left in the stalwarts and icons of the struggle, she is one of those who would tell us exactly what is wrong and what is right at any time. We’re going to be missing that because it is not just being an icon because of the length of your involvement in the struggle, you become an icon when you provide that guidance. We will be missing that guidance.”
Exactly a year ago, an icon of our movement, Isithwalandwe/Seaparankoe #WinnieMadikizelaMandela departed. One of the very few stalwarts who would tell us what is wrong & what is right at anytime. A year later, we miss her guidance. In her honour, let us #GrowSouthAfrica pic.twitter.com/7tTYQfYQaU
— Gwede Mantashe (@GwedeMantashe1) April 2, 2019
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema visited her gravesite at the Fourways Cemetery to pay tribute.
Madikizela-Mandela succumbed peacefully at the age of 81, surrounded by family and loved ones, at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. As a result of her illness, she had been in and out of the hospital.
She was born in Bizana in the Eastern Cape and later moved to Johannesburg to study social work. She met anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela in 1975 and later married and had two children together with him. Their marriage was shortlived as he was arrested in 1963 and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Winnie was not deterred by his arrest and continued her contribution to the fight for the liberation of the people of South Africa.
Nelson was released in 1990, and the couple divorced in 1996, 37 years after their marriage.
Madikizela-Mandela later became a member of parliament after the country’s first democratic elections in 1994.
Social media has been abuzz with many remembering the struggle icon.
Watch: Today we remember a pillar & heroine of this great nation, uMama Winnie Madikizela Mandela. A gallant warrior, she was a freedom fighter whose revolutionary fire never stopped burning. Siyakukhumbula Mama we sizwe, your legacy lives on forever in our hearts#winniemandela pic.twitter.com/52p2HwLDVz
— Min. Nathi Mthethwa (@NathiMthethwaSA) April 2, 2019
— T U M I (@telltumi) April 2, 2019
“I no longer have the emotion of fear, there is no longer anything I can fear. There is nothing the government has not done to me. There isn't any pain I haven't known.”- Winnie Mandela pic.twitter.com/pRVVQw6m32
— Sidwell Tshidada (@sidwelltshidada) April 2, 2019
On this #ChooseDay, exactly a year ago, a hero, a mother and a legend found eternal peace. Her legacy of fighting for a democratic and fair society will live on. We salute you Mama #WinnieMadikizelaMandela #WinnieMandela pic.twitter.com/YekskYW3vl
— Christo (@ChristoThurston) April 2, 2019
“I'm not sorry. I will never be sorry. I would do everything I did again if I had to. Everything.”
Unapologetic in her quest for liberation ✊????
It's been exactly a year since her passing, R.I.P. Mama.???????? #WinnieMandela #WinnieMadikizelaMandela pic.twitter.com/WCowQkzOnh
— ????Ntombazan'entle~Hlengiwe Pearl on digital stores (@sonwa_olivier) April 2, 2019
Remembering Winnie Mandela. She stayed true to the struggle of our people. Remained fearless to the end. You didn’t die Nomzamo, you multiplied. History will judge the hypocrites that sold you out. May your revolutionary spirit rest in power✊????✊????✊???? https://t.co/M7FJG0o8wN
— Lindie van wat wat (@loksionchick) April 2, 2019
2 April 2018. South African anti-apartheid campaigner Winnie Mandela died (aged 89). She served as an MP from 1994 to 2002 and from 2009 until her death, She was the ex-wife of Nelson Mandela and her supporters called her the "Mother of the Nation". pic.twitter.com/YpxeVDh2e9
— Prof.Frank McDonough (@FXMC1957) April 2, 2019